Coming to an out-of-court agreement on divorce-related issues such as child support, property division, parenting time, and maintenance can save divorcing parties a significant amount of time and money. Unfortunately, this is not always a viable option, especially if a couple’s relationship is acrimonious or abusive. Having the advice and guidance of an attorney in these situations can make all the difference in the outcome of the case, and in the event that a divorce goes to trial, n attorney’s help can be crucial to obtaining an appropriate settlement. If you have questions about Illinois divorce filing requirements or another dissolution-related issue, it is important to speak with an experienced Mt. Prospect divorce attorney who can assist you.
Joint Simplified Dissolution
Divorces are either contested or uncontested. The former indicates that a couple does not agree on one or more divorce-related issues, such as custody or property division, while the latter refers to situations in which a couple agrees on all of these issues. Generally, uncontested divorces are resolved more quickly, with less stress, and at less cost. One type of uncontested divorce, in particular, known as a simplified dissolution of marriage, is especially effective. This streamlined procedure allows couples to obtain a divorce much more quickly. However, a couple must first be eligible, which means that:
- Either party has lived in Illinois for at least three months;
- The couple has been married for less than nine years;
- The couple’s combined assets are worth less than $10,000;
- Neither party has an ownership interest in real estate;
- The couple’s combined gross annual income is less than $35,000;
- The couple has no children;
- Both parties agree to waive any right to spousal maintenance;
- The marriage broke down as a result of irreconcilable differences;
- The couple has lived apart for at least six months;
- The parties have executed a written agreement dividing all marital assets and debts; and
- Each party has disclosed all of his or her assets and tax returns.
When all of these elements are fulfilled, Illinois family courts will grant a dissolution of marriage after holding only a single hearing.
Couples who do not qualify for a simplified divorce or who are unable to come to an out-of-court agreement on divorce-related issues will need to have these issues decided by a court. This includes:
- How marital assets and debt will be divided;
- Whether one party will receive alimony payments and in what amount and for how long;
- How parenting time and responsibilities for any children of the marriage will be divided;
- Whether one party will be required to pay child support and in what amount; and
- Whether one party will be granted ownership of the family home.
How these issues are resolved depends in large part on the financial evidence submitted by the parties, so divorcing couples should consider retaining an attorney who has the experience and resources necessary to obtain the assistance of a financial analyst.
Call Our Mt. Prospect Legal Team Today
If you have questions or concerns about filing for divorce, please do not hesitate to call Delaney Heckman at 847-705-8000 for a free evaluation of your case.